Newcastle’s Matt Ritchie ruled out of Watford visit

Newcastle midfielder Matt Ritchie is facing up to two months on the sidelines after suffering ankle ligament damage in Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup defeat by Leicester.

The Scotland international, who also needed stitches in three wounds left by Hamza Choudhury’s challenge, is expected to be out for around eight weeks and will miss Saturday’s Premier League clash with Watford as a result.

Frenchman Allan Saint-Maximin will be absent again after aggravating a hamstring injury at Tottenham last Sunday, and while striker Joelinton (groin) is expected to be available, wing-backs Emil Krafth (thigh) and Jetro Willems (hamstring) and striker Miguel Almiron (ankle) are doubts. Florian Lejeune (knee), Dwight Gayle (hamstring) and Andy Carroll (ankle) are out.

Watford boss Javi Gracia has a selection headache as he has a near fully-fit squad to choose from in the search for their first Premier League point of the season.

Captain Troy Deeney is the only player unavailable after undergoing knee surgery last week, which is set to keep him sidelined for at least two months. Roberto Pereyra (thigh) is fit enough to play after missing last week’s defeat against West Ham.

Record signing Ismaila Sarr marked his first Watford start with a goal in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup win against Coventry, while fellow forward Danny Welbeck played 90 minutes but Gracia is keen to not rush the pair into league action.

Provisional Newcastle squad: Dubravka, Darlow, Manquillo, Krafth, Dummett, Willems, Lascelles, Fernandez, Schar, Lascelles, Clark, Shelvey, Hayden, S Longstaff, Ki, M Longstaff, Atsu, Almiron, Joelinton, Muto.

Provisional Watford squad: Foster, Femenia, Dawson, Cathcart, Holebas, Hughes, Doucoure, Capoue, Sema, Gray, Pereyra, Deulofeu, Gomes, Janmaat, Cathcart, Cleverley, Okaka, Welbeck, Chalobah, Quina, Masina, Sarr, Mariappa, Success, Kabasele, Penaranda.

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